Everybody Eats: Alicia Philipp

Alicia Philipp (Courtesy of Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta)

By Megan Volpert

Welcome to a new interview series where I discuss food with citizens of Atlanta who are prominent for non-food-related reasons. Let’s get to know our most high-profile residents a little more personally, shall we? For this inaugural installment, I spoke to Alicia Philipp, President of the Community Foundation for Greater Atlanta.

Since 1951, the Community Foundation has provided trusted, expert philanthropic services to connect donors with knowledge, issues and services. Philipp has led the Foundation’s grant-making, fundraising and collaboration efforts for almost 40 years. Under her leadership, the Community Foundation has grown from $7 million in 1977 to more than $919.8 million today.

How do you like your eggs cooked?
Scrambled, well, with cheese

What are your two favorite things to put in mac and cheese, other than the mac and the cheese?
Peas and hot dogs (at the same time) 

Where’s a good place to go for a business lunch?
The Commerce Club

Wine and beer, or the hard stuff, or none at all?
None, sparkling water with lime

What is your favorite food city, other than Atlanta?
Baltimore – I love the crab cakes!

What is your guilty pleasure snack food?
Utz’s Potato Chips, to my knowledge only sold at the Kroger in Decatur (and select others) – a Baltimore/Philadelphia delicacy!

What are your feelings about red velvet cake?
It’s not my favorite, but I don’t hate it. It’s a necessity for Valentine’s Day.

Is there any food so disgusting to you that you just won’t eat it?
Raw oysters. I’ve tried to like them, but I just don’t.

Are you any good at gardening?
I am learning and doing more of it on my daughter’s organic farm in Portugal.

Who does most of the cooking in your house? Who cooked while you were growing up?
Growing up, my father did most of the cooking. I rarely have to cook because I’m out for most meals. When my daughter was younger someone asked what her Mom did for a living and she said “eat” because I was always talking about breakfast, lunch or dinner meetings. The amazing array of Decatur restaurants are my go-to choices.

How is the Community Foundation impacting what we eat in Atlanta?
We are establishing a for-profit, social enterprise known as Better Life Growers in the Mechanicsville community. It’s an aeroponic lettuce and herb growing operation that will provide living-wage jobs for 25 local residents and will supply local institutions like hospitals, universities, wholesale distributors and retailers. Currently, 98 percent of the lettuce consumed in Georgia travels 2,500-plus miles from California or Arizona.

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